A PROPOSED 2.99% increase in council tax – plus a 2% social care levy – have been approved by council chiefs.
Wiltshire Council’s 2023/24 budget proposals have been formally approved by its Cabinet, and will now go forward for discussion and debate at Full Council later this month (February 21).
The council’s proposed budget for 2023/24 stands at £465m.
If agreed at Full Council, the increase will mean a rise of £1.57 per week of the Wiltshire Council element of the council tax for households in the average Band D property.
The council said it came as a result of the Government allowing councils greater flexibility in how they set their council tax, and helps to fund the continuation of vital service to the vulnerable.
More information on the council’s budget proposals can be found at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/news/budget-proposals-2023-24.
Meanwhile, at the January 31 meeting, the cabinet also provided an update on its revenue and capital budgets for the quarter three period (July to September 2023).
With mitigations in place, the council is currently forecasting a net overspend for the year of £5 million, the equivalent to 1.25% of the overall net budget.
However, cabinet agreed the overspend will be met from the inflation reserves set aside to cover the anticipated cost of inflation.
Elsewhere, capital funding – money spent on infrastructure projects – is around £191m.
Following a review, some of the projects that form part of the council’s capital programme include the redevelopment of Melksham House, the Salisbury and Trowbridge Future High Streets projects, highways maintenance, and the Silverwood School construction for learners with SEND.
Cllr Richard Clewer, leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “I really welcome the constructive and transparent discussions we’ve had since our budget proposals were published.
“Setting a budget involving an increase in council tax is never easy and it is really important that we explain to residents what we are asking for and more importantly why.
“Now that my cabinet has formally approved the budget we now look ahead to Full Council for a full debate and discussion as we seek to get it formally approved.”
No final decisions on the proposals have been made, and prior to being discussed and debated at Full Council on February 21, they would have been scrutinised by various groups including members, group leaders and trade union representatives.